Cellphones can improve literacy: UN study

May 2, 2014

A study by the United Nations education agency states that cellphones are getting more and more people to read in countries where books are rare and illiteracy is high.
Paris-based United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) says that 774 million people worldwide cannot read and most people in sub-Saharan Africa do not own any books but cellphones are increasingly widespread.

The report that was released on April 23 by UNESCO says large numbers of people in such countries are reading books and stories on ‘rudimentary small-screen devices’.

It says a third of the study participants read stories to children from cellphones. It further adds that people who start reading on a mobile device go on to read for more period of time, improving their overall literacy.

The study was conducted among 4,000 people in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

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